Alberta eliminates bonuses, caps pay for public sector execs

Alberta is slashing executive pay and perks at 23 of its agencies, boards and commissions, including ensuring health benefits are aligned with those of public sector executives in other regions.

The changes are expected to save $16 million a year and will affect roughly 270 executive and management employees. They include setting salary bands for chief executive officers, eliminating executive bonuses, capping executive severance pay at 12 months, and eliminating perks such as retention bonuses and housing allowances.

Read: Ontario caps salary and performance pay for public sector executives

The affected agencies include the Alberta Local Authorities Pension Plan, the Alberta Pensions Services Corp., the Labour Relations Board, Travel Alberta and the Workers’ Compensation Board.

Five other agencies will have to submit compensation plans for annual approval by the government. They are the Alberta Management Investment Corp., the Alberta Treasury Branch, the Alberta  Teachers’ Retirement Fund, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Electric System Operator.

“For far too long, the previous government allowed CEO salaries to balloon beyond reasonable levels at our agencies, boards and commissions despite recommendations by the auditor general to rein them in,” said Joe Ceci, president of the treasury board and minister of finance, in a release.

“Albertans deserve better. In tough times, our government is making sure that ABC salaries are reasonable, in line with other provinces, and serve the public interest.”

Read: Average pay of top CEOs rising: CCPA report

Alberta looked at executive compensation at agencies where the chief executive officer’s annual base salary is more than $200,000. It hired a consulting firm to determine appropriate compensation amounts in comparison with other public bodies across the country.

The changes come into effect on March 16, 2017, and apply immediately to new hires and reappointments. They will apply to incumbents after a two-year notice period.

Read: Pay increases to stagnate in 2017: report